If you're doing a renovation, I can almost guarantee that you've been subjected to endless advice, solicited or not, from everyone you've told about said renovation. One piece of advice you've surely heard is, "Get it in writing!" Well, that my faithful blog followers is one piece of advice that is worth listening to!
When you have an estimate done, definitely expect to get that estimate in writing. A verbal estimate is worth about as much as the paper it's written on ;) There are a lot of reasons that a written estimate is helpful, and here are a few:
1) You know what work to expect
When you're verbally communicating with someone, you may think you're both on the same page, but maybe you're not! How will you know?! Well, instead of waiting until the job is done, and something is wrong, get a detailed written estimate and you'll know if you're on the same page long before the work is done!
2) You can compare "apples to apples"
Most people will get more than one estimate for a project - and that's great! You want to make sure someone isn't over or undercharging for the work you want done. (Yes, people can undercharge - you get what you pay for!) For example, if you get 2 estimates to have pot lights installed, and one is much more expensive, your instinct will probably be to go with the less expensive estimate. If you compare the written estimates though, you will notice that one has priced LED pot lights, and one has priced halogen! LED pot lights are more expensive out of the gate, but they use very little power and last a lot longer! Good thing you were able to compare written estimates and choose the better option ;)
3) You know the terms
A written estimate should outline the start date of the project, the material included, the payment options and any other specialty terms. For example, not all companies accept credit and debit as forms of payment. If your only option is to pay with a credit card, you will want to know, in writing, if that is an acceptable form of payment before the job is done and you're expected to pay cash on the spot!
4) You know how much the project will cost!
This is usually the most important factor in choosing a contractor. A written estimate clearly outlines what the project will cost. There are no surprises when the final bill comes! The only exception to this would be if an unforeseeable problem is discovered during a job and must be corrected by law. For example, if a wall is torn down and it's discovered that there is wiring done illegally, ESA would require that to be made safe and brought up to code by law. Fortunately this is only a VERY rare occurrence.
Without a written estimate though, prices tend to magically go up when the work is done...without a written estimate, it's your word against theirs :(
#YOURelectrical contractor always provides a detailed written estimate for these reasons :)
Til next time, happy reading! :)